- By Maggie Biggs
- Oct 15, 2001
If you think in Internet time, XML is hardly a new technology. It was
derived from Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), and the first
draft describing XML was created back in 1996 by a group within the World
Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (www.w3.org) chaired by Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems
XML can best be described as a universal format for exchanging structured
documents and data on the Web. You might think of XML as being similar to
HTML in that both make use of "tags." HTML defines what each tag and its
attributes mean, but XML uses tags to delimit bits of data and leaves interpretation
of that data to the applications that read it.
Besides certain database products, XML is now routinely supported in
many Web editors, such as Namo Interactive Inc.'s Namo Web.Editor 5. By
taking advantage of XML support in Web editors, you can more easily integrate
data with Web pages.
The W3C is also working on a project that blends HTML and XML into a
new standard called XHTML. You can learn more about XML by visiting www.w3.org/xml.
Sun also has a good tutorial on XML at java.sun.com/xml/tutorial_intro.html.
Information on XHTML can be found at www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#xhtml.